New Acland management trying to ram unfair deal down workers’ throats

Published: 1 May 2019

New Hope’s decision to circumvent negotiations and attempt to ram through an unfair deal this Wednesday, is an act of disrespect toward workers at New Acland mine, according to the CFMEU Mining
and Energy Division.

New Hope’s decision to circumvent negotiations and attempt to ram through an unfair deal this Wednesday, is an act of disrespect toward workers at New Acland mine, according to the CFMEU Mining and Energy Division.

Workers at New Acland had been negotiating with New Hope for the principle of ‘same work, same pay’ to be enshrined in the new agreement. Management had been insisting on the retention of a two-tier wage system that arbitrarily splits the workforce between ‘individual contract’ employees and employees paid under the enterprise agreement.

The Fair Work Commission was scheduled to consider the matter this month, but on the eve of the hearing New Hope notified the union of its unilateral decision to put the agreement out to a vote of the workers on May 1.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland Vice President Shane Brunker said New Hope’s decision smacked of disrespect.

“What mineworkers at New Acland are seeking is completely reasonable, yet they have been met with stalling, distraction, and now complete disrespect,” Mr Brunker said.

“Workers have every right to negotiate for ‘same work, say pay’ guarantees. Yet instead of engaging reasonably New Hope thinks it can use the element of surprise to just ram home an unfair agreement.

“These kind of tactics are no way to treat loyal and long-serving workers. These are workers that New Hope was very happy to put front and centre to lobby the Queensland Government to greenlight expansion plans.

“The two-tier system at New Acland creates a toxic work environment. It is unfair and unsustainable. Instead of trying to trick workers into voting against their collective interests, management would be better served by taking a cooperative approach.

“We are talking here about a company that boasted a profit increase of 96 per cent to $361 million last year. They can afford to act with decency.

“I believe workers will see through this short-sighted trick, but it’s a genuine shame it has been attempted. Goodwill between workers and management is a valuable asset, and once it’s lost it usually takes a long time to repair.”

Contact: Shane Brunker 0419 472 325